There is a classic comedy routine where a person slips on a banana peel and falls to the ground in a silly fashion. Unfortunately, when someone really slips and falls, often that person is seriously injured. What’s worse, the fall itself is often the result of someone else’s negligence. When you do fall down, it is important to look where you fell to see what you actually fell on, if possible. If you are unable to do so because your injured, you should try to go back as soon as possible to look to see what might have caused you to fall and take pictures, as well. In addition, talk to any witnesses who saw you fall and get their names and telephone numbers.
In New York, a landowner is usually responsible for a defective condition, such as a liquid spill or other slippery hazards, if they have notice of the condition which gave them a reasonable time to correct the condition. If you can’t prove how long that banana peel was on the floor in the supermarket before it caused you to fall, then you will have a difficult time establishing that the supermarket is liable for your injuries.
When you slip and fall on ice on a sidewalk, it is very important that you file what is called a Notice of Claim against the municipality where you fell as soon as possible but not later than 90 days after you fell. If you fail to file this document on time, then even if the municipality is negligent for your fall, you will probably not be able to recover anything against the municipality for your pain and suffering. In certain instances an adjoining landowner may be responsible for the condition of the sidewalk.
You will also need to obtain a weather report for the day of the accident. New York Law will prevent recovery when a person slips on ice when the storm which causes the condition is still in progress when they fall.
It is for these reasons and for other nuances in the law that you should contact an attorney who has experience in handling all types of slip and fall cases as soon as possible. They can act quickly to gather evidence to establish your case against the landowner or municipality before the evidence is gone. An attorney will also make sure that all the proper documents, including a Notice of Claim, is filed in a timely manner so that your right to collect for your pain and suffering is protected.
Spiegel, Brown, Fichera, & Coté, LLP has been handling slip and fall cases (from the beginning of claims to a verdict) for over 45 years. Our attorneys have obtained some of the highest recoveries in the region for slip and fall cases and many cases settle before trial because our attorneys are always prepared and do everything possible to make sure that a case is ready to be prosecuted.